CEE 299 - Independent Study in Civil Engineering
🌲

CEE 299 - Independent Study in Civil Engineering

Welcome to the notion space for Eduardo Juanes and Daniel Diaz's independent study in Civil Engineering. This space has been created to organize the research, and collaborate in real-time.

Weekly Progress Report

Week 1 (April 09 - April 15):

Achievements

  • Established document framework: We defined the structure and timeline for our research document.
  • Completed introduction: We wrote a comprehensive introduction section that outlines the purpose and significance of our study.
  • Developed report organization: We established a clear organization for presenting our research findings and analysis.
  • Gained understanding of Assemble: We learned how to efficiently manage documents within the Assemble platform.
  • Began defining model: We started defining the BIM model to be tested within our project framework.

Lessons Learned

  • We have learned that the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method is considered to be one of the best delivery methods for utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) effectively. By working together from the early stages of a project, the team can utilize BIM to its fullest potential to manage risk, increase productivity, and optimize project results.
  • Importance of understanding the differences between project delivery methods (such as IPD) and design processes (such as IDP) in order to effectively implement collaborative and integrated approaches to construction projects.
  • ANSI Consensus National Standard Guide 2.0 for Design and Construction of Sustainable Buildings and Communities: The ANSI standard provides project teams with step-by-step guidance through the integrative process.

Plans for Next Week

  1. Refining our test project model: We will continue working on defining the BIM model that we will use to test our project framework. This will involve selecting key parameters, refining our approach to data collection and analysis, and ensuring that the model aligns with the goals and objectives of our study.
  2. Researching stakeholders: We plan to conduct research on the key stakeholders involved in construction projects, including owners, architects, contractors, and others. This will help us to gain a better understanding of the various roles and responsibilities involved in construction projects and inform our analysis of project roles and workflows.
  3. Proposing and analyzing correct roles for a project: Building on our research on stakeholders, we will analyze the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in a construction project and propose a framework for effective collaboration and communication. This will involve identifying potential areas of conflict and developing strategies for managing risk and mitigating challenges.
  4. Developing a Pre-design phase section framework: We will work on developing a framework for the Pre-design phase section of our research document. This will involve identifying key topics and sections to be included in this part of the document, such as site analysis, programming, and conceptual design.

Week 2 (April 16 - April 22):

Achievements

  • Developed a preliminary framework to work with
  • Defined the specialty areas involved in the project

Lessons Learned

  • Understood what is required for successful BIM implementation
  • Learned about the importance of a Project Management Office (PMO) in setting standards for project management

Plans for Next Week

  • Elaborate on how we will achieve our objectives
  • Refine our Revit process
  • Examine the workflows and procedures involved in each specialty area
  • Identify potential roadblocks or challenges that may arise during the project

Week 3 (April 23 - April 29):

Achievements

  • Mastered the iterative problem-solving process.
  • Created a model of a process protocol with inputs and outputs for each deliverable based on the iterative process proposed.
  • Progressed significantly in project definition, clarifying project objectives and potential challenges in our test example.

Lessons Learned

  • Iterative problem-solving processes can be an effective way to address complex challenges, and understanding how to use them can improve problem-solving skills.
  • Modeling a process protocol with inputs and outputs can improve clarity, communication, and efficiency in complex processes.

Plans for Next Week

  • Refine the model (Revit)

Week 4 (April 30 - May 06):

Achievements

  • Successfully linked the architectural and site documents for efficient collaboration.
  • Aligned the documents vertically and horizontally to accurately position building elements in relation to the physical site, avoiding potential errors or discrepancies.
  • Obtained precise coordinates from the site survey document and transferred them to the architectural file, ensuring accurate positioning of building elements.

Lessons Learned

  • The importance of establishing clear and consistent reference points at the beginning of the project to ensure accurate positioning of building elements.
  • The critical role of linked documents in facilitating efficient collaboration and coordination between building design and structural components.
  • The significance of obtaining precise coordinates from the site survey document and transferring them to the architectural file to ensure accurate positioning of building elements.

Plans for Next Week

  • Collaborate with the Structural and MEP to link their specialty project documents to ensure coordinated design and construction efforts.

Week 5 (May 07 - May 13):

Achievements

Lessons Learned

Plans for Next Week

Week 6 (May 14 - May 20):

Achievements

Lessons Learned

Plans for Next Week

Week 7 (May 21 - May 27):

Achievements

Lessons Learned

Plans for Next Week

Week 8 (May 28 - June 03):

Achievements

Lessons Learned

Plans for Next Week

Week 9 (June 04 - June 10):

Achievements

Lessons Learned

Plans for Next Week

0. Meet the Team

Eduardo Juanes

image

Eduardo is a Civil Engineering graduate student at Stanford University pursuing a Master's degree in Sustainable Design and Construction, is passionate about using data-driven approaches to improve construction management. He specializes in designing and implementing real-time dashboards to provide insights into project performance, driving greater efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in the construction industry.

Daniel Diaz

image

Daniel is a graduate student at Stanford University pursuing a Master's degree in Sustainable Design and Construction. With a background in Civil Engineering and Project Management, Daniel is passionate about driving innovation and sustainability in the construction industry. His ultimate goal is to use his skills and experience to make a positive impact on society and take on a leadership role in the construction industry.

Glenn Katz (Advisor)

image

Glenn Katz, an experienced educator and building design team leader at Bearington Studios in San Jose, CA, has over 40 years of experience at the intersection of AEC, education, and technology. Specializing in BIM, systems integration, and sustainable design principles, Glenn is the creator of the Autodesk BIM Curriculum for AEC and publishes educational content on his website and YouTube channel with over 9000 subscribers and 1.7 million views. He holds degrees in architecture, structural engineering from MIT, and construction management from Stanford University.

1. Objective

The objective of this independent study is to develop an optimized workflow for a BIM company office that integrates construction control dashboards. Additionally, the study aims to explore the integration of complementary technologies, such as Assemble and PowerBI, for more accurate quantities takeoffs.

2. Introduction

The emergence of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology is transforming the construction industry, but its adoption has been hindered by challenges such as a lack of understanding and outdated workflows. This is especially true for an industry with deep roots in traditional practices. As a result, the full benefits of BIM technology have not been fully realized in many construction companies.

To overcome these challenges, it is important to redefine the roles and workflows in construction organizations to be more compatible with BIM technology. This requires a thorough understanding of the capabilities of BIM and the potential benefits it can offer. Companies need to identify the key stakeholders and their responsibilities in the implementation of BIM. This will require a shift in the mindset of the organization to fully embrace the new technology.

Additionally, implementing BIM requires changes to existing workflows to ensure that they align with the new technology. BIM technology offers a collaborative platform that integrates data from different sources, which enables the effective coordination of different teams working on the same project. This necessitates the development of new workflows that facilitate collaboration and communication among stakeholders.

This independent study proposes an approach to the adoption of BIM technology in the construction industry. It emphasizes the need for a fundamental shift in traditional roles and workflows to fully embrace the potential benefits of BIM. The study suggests the development of new roles and workflows that are specifically tailored to take advantage of this technology. By doing so, construction companies can maximize the value of BIM and improve their efficiency, collaboration, and overall project outcomes.

2.1 Assumptions:

This independent study recognizes the value of adopting an integrated approach to design and construction, and as such, believes that utilizing an Integrated Design Process (IDP) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method is the most effective way of working with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.

2.2 Scope Analysis: Boundaries of the Study

The following is a typical order of phases for a construction project:

Figure 1. Construction project phases: the traditional approach
Figure 1. Construction project phases: the traditional approach

The traditional phases of construction have been criticized for being inefficient and not fully optimized for collaboration and integration among project stakeholders. Under the traditional approach, the owner contracts with separate entities for design and construction, and each entity works independently of the others, with little collaboration or communication between them. This can lead to issues such as errors in design, budget overruns, schedule delays, and disputes among stakeholders.

The following is an ideal sequence of phases for a construction project utilizing an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method:

  1. Pre-Design Phase: In this phase, the project team collaborates to establish the project goals, objectives, and requirements. The team conducts site and environmental assessments and identifies potential risks and constraints. A project charter is developed, and project metrics are established to measure progress and success.
  2. Design Phase: During this phase, the team collaborates on the development of a conceptual design, conducting design workshops and charrettes to identify and resolve issues. The design is then refined, with detailed drawings, specifications, and 3D models created. Energy analysis and optimization studies are performed, and a cost estimate and budget are developed. Necessary permits and approvals are obtained.
  3. Construction Phase: In this phase, the team collaborates on construction planning and sequencing, implementing a Lean construction approach to improve efficiency and minimize waste. Regular meetings and communications with the project team are held to maintain alignment, and a quality management program is established to ensure the highest level of workmanship. Construction progress is monitored, and plans are adjusted as necessary. An open communication channel is maintained with all stakeholders.
  4. Commissioning and Testing Phase: In this phase, a functional performance testing plan and procedures are developed and conducted to test and commission building systems and equipment. Building operators and maintenance staff are trained, and an operation and maintenance plan is developed. A post-occupancy evaluation is conducted to assess the effectiveness of the project.
  5. Post-Construction Phase: The final phase involves addressing any outstanding issues, such as warranty items and close-out documentation. A final evaluation of the project is conducted to identify lessons learned, and a case study or report is developed to document the success of the project. A plan is established to monitor building performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

These phases prioritize collaboration, communication, and shared responsibility among all stakeholders to ensure the successful delivery of the project. The team works together throughout the project lifecycle, emphasizing the importance of early involvement and open communication to achieve project goals and objectives.

This study will focus specifically on the Pre-Design, Design, and Construction phases of a construction project, and will closely examine the workflows and processes within these phases.

3. Our Model

3.1 The Assemble Workflow Example

Split Elements in Revit for Assemble Integration
Power Bi

3.2 The Wall

For the purposes of our independent study, we have selected a wall as our base model to test our framework. This model will be managed by three key disciplines: architectural, structural, MEP, and construction. Our goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of our framework for managing and collaborating on this model across multiple disciplines.

To do this, we will identify key parameters and elements of the wall model that are relevant to each discipline, and work to establish a process for effectively sharing and integrating data across these different areas. This will involve defining clear roles and responsibilities for each discipline, establishing communication protocols and workflows, and identifying potential areas of conflict and risk.

By testing our framework on this base model, we will be able to gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our approach, and make informed recommendations for future implementation. We believe that this approach will allow us to develop a comprehensive and effective framework for implementing BIM in construction projects, and we look forward to making progress on this important work in the coming weeks.

image

4. The Interoperability Dilemma

The construction industry has undergone a digital transformation in recent years with the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. BIM is a collaborative approach that integrates all aspects of a building project, including design, construction, and maintenance. However, one of the major challenges facing the construction industry today is the interoperability problem between BIM software. The problem arises when professionals try to merge information from different BIM software. Incompatible data formats, data loss, and data corruption are some of the major challenges that arise when different BIM software are used. One of the major challenges facing the construction industry today is the interoperability problem between BIM software.

Unlike AutoCAD, which did not change any processes in the old framework of construction, BIM software demands a new framework to work around and take the most advantage of the methodology. The problem is that many professionals in the construction industry continue to optimize independent processes and do not think about the framework from the top. Even new roles created for BIM or VDC have duplicity in responsibilities. For example, VDC manager and project manager have duplicity in responsibilities.

The interoperability problem arises when professionals try to merge information from different BIM software. Incompatible data formats, data loss, and data corruption are some of the major challenges that arise when different BIM software are used. For instance, some BIM software may not be able to read certain data formats or may interpret data differently. This makes it difficult to transfer data from one software to another.

To address the interoperability problem, it is important to adopt a framework that is useful from the beginning. This framework should be based on a specific software developer for construction, such as Autodesk software or another BIM software developer. This will ensure that all the software used in a project are compatible and can exchange information seamlessly. By using a single software platform, professionals will be able to collaborate more effectively and reduce the likelihood of data loss or corruption.

In conclusion, the interoperability problem between BIM software is a major challenge facing the construction industry today. To address this problem, it is important to adopt a framework that is useful from the beginning. This framework should be based on a specific software developer for construction, such as Autodesk software or another BIM software developer. By using a single software platform, professionals will be able to collaborate more effectively and reduce the likelihood of data loss or corruption. Ultimately, this will lead to better project outcomes and improved efficiency in the construction industry.

5. Project Governance

Project governance is the framework of policies, procedures, and practices that guide the decisions, actions, and accountabilities of individuals and groups involved in a project. It involves establishing clear lines of authority, responsibility, and decision-making, and ensuring that project objectives are aligned with the overall goals and strategies of the organization.

4.1 Specialty Areas

image

The proposal recommends that in order to achieve project success, the project management should establish five specialty areas: surveying, architecture, construction, structural engineering, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. It is essential that each specialty area actively participates in the project and is allocated a specific Revit link that is tailored to their unique field of expertise.

Surveying is the process of measuring and mapping the physical features of a piece of land or area. A dedicated Revit link for surveying would allow surveyors to provide precise location and elevation data to the project team, ensuring accurate and reliable project planning and design.

Architecture involves the design and planning of buildings and other physical structures. A dedicated Revit link for architecture would allow architects to easily collaborate with the rest of the project team, providing design elements and incorporating input from other disciplines.

A dedicated Revit link for construction would enable the construction team to provide updates on the progress of the construction process, including schedules, milestones, and completion dates. This would help the project team to monitor progress and ensure that the construction process is on track.

Structural engineering involves the analysis and design of structures such as buildings, bridges, and towers. A dedicated Revit link for structural engineering would allow engineers to provide structural design and analysis information, ensuring the building's stability and safety.

MEP systems include mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, which are essential components of building projects. A dedicated Revit link for MEP systems would allow engineers to provide information on the design, placement, and integration of these systems, ensuring that they function properly and meet the building's requirements.

4.2 The Iterative Process

The iterative process in our independent study project is a crucial aspect of managing and streamlining the project's development. This process plays a significant role in improving efficiency, reducing errors, and ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page. An iterative process in a BIM project involves the continuous updating, refining, and reviewing of project deliverables to achieve better results. Each process or deliverable requires inputs and generates outputs, which serve as the foundation for subsequent processes or updates. These processes are influenced by various tools, techniques, and knowledge that help in executing the tasks effectively. The iterative process in a BIM project follows these key steps:

  • Input: Each process begins with inputs, which can be documents, data, or any other information from previous processes or external sources. These inputs are necessary for initiating the next phase of the project and ensuring that all the relevant details are considered.
  • Tools and Techniques: The project team applies appropriate tools and techniques to the inputs, leveraging their knowledge and expertise. These tools and techniques can include software applications, industry standards, best practices, and other resources that aid in processing the inputs and generating outputs.
  • Output: The result of applying tools and techniques to the inputs is the output, which can be a document, model, or any other deliverable. The output is not the final product, but a refined version of the input that is ready for further processing or updating.
image

In the context of a BIM project, multiple processes within the framework can use a single document or deliverable as input. As the project progresses, these documents are updated and refined through the iterative process, ensuring that they remain accurate and relevant throughout the project lifecycle.

4.3 The Framework

1. Project Definition (Process)

This is the first step in the process, where the project goals and objectives are defined. This includes the scope of the project, the budget, the timeline, and the performance criteria.

Task Leader: Owner

Participants: Owner & Project Manager

2. Project Initiation Document (Deliverable non-BIM)

The PID is an important document that provides a framework for the project, including the project's goals, objectives, scope, timeline, budget, risks, and constraints. The PID helps ensure that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of the project's purpose, scope, and objectives, and it provides a basis for decision-making and risk management throughout the project's lifecycle.

Key components of the PID:

  • Project overview: This section provides an overview of the project, including the project's purpose, scope, and objectives.
  • Business case: This section outlines the business case for the project, including the expected benefits, costs, and risks.
  • Stakeholder analysis: This section identifies the key stakeholders involved in the project and their interests, expectations, and concerns.
  • Project scope: This section outlines the project's scope, including what is included and excluded from the project.
  • Project objectives: This section defines the project's objectives, including the project's goals and performance criteria.
  • Project timeline: This section outlines the project timeline, including key milestones and deadlines.
  • Project budget: This section outlines the project budget, including estimated costs and funding sources.
  • Project risks: This section identifies the risks associated with the project and outlines a risk management plan to mitigate these risks.
  • Project constraints: This section identifies the constraints that may impact the project, such as legal, regulatory, or environmental factors.

Task Leader: Project Manager

Participants: Owner & Project Manager

image

3. Team Formation (Process)

A multi-disciplinary team is formed, including architects, engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders. This team works together throughout the project to ensure that all aspects of the project are integrated and optimized.

Task Leader: Project Manager

Participants: Project Manager

4. Project Charter (Deliverable non-BIM)

The project charter is a high-level document that is developed at the beginning of a project and outlines the project's objectives, constraints, and deliverables. It serves as a reference point throughout the project, providing a clear understanding of the project's goals and guiding decisions and actions.

The project charter includes the following elements:

  • Project Overview: This section provides an overview of the project, including the purpose, objectives, and expected outcomes.
  • Scope: This section outlines the scope of the project, including what is included and excluded from the project.
  • Budget: This section details the budget for the project, including estimated costs and funding sources.
  • Timeline: This section provides a timeline for the project, including key milestones and deadlines.
  • Performance Criteria: This section outlines the performance criteria for the project, including quality standards, safety requirements, and other key performance indicators.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: This section defines the roles and responsibilities of the project team members, including the project manager, stakeholders, and other key players.

Task Leader: Project Manager

Participants: Project Manager

image

5. Topographic Survey

A topographic survey is a detailed survey of a piece of land that provides information about its physical features and characteristics. It includes information about the land's elevation, contours, slopes, natural and man-made features, and other important details that can impact the design and construction of a project.

Task Leader: Surveying

Participants: Surveying, Owner, Project Manager

image

6. Schematic Design

A schematic design is a visual representation of an idea or concept in its early stages. It is often a rough sketch or diagram that shows the basic structure and layout of a building or product.

Task Leader: Architecture

Participants: Surveying, Owner, Project Manager, Construction

image

7. Space Planning

During the space planning phase, designers work closely with clients to gather information about their requirements and preferences, as well as any regulatory or technical requirements. The designer then creates a detailed plan for the layout and organization of the space, taking into account factors such as traffic flow, accessibility, and safety.

Task Leader: Architecture

Participants: Surveying, Owner, Project Manager, Construction

image

8. Building Envelope

The building envelope design process is a critical component of any building project, as it involves the design and construction of the outer shell of the building that protects it from the elements and provides a comfortable indoor environment. The building envelope design document is a comprehensive plan that outlines the design, materials, and construction methods for the building envelope.

Task Leader: Architecture

Participants: Surveying, Architect, MEP, Structural, Project Manager, Construction

image

9. Structural Design

The structural design document typically includes calculations and drawings that specify the size and placement of structural elements such as beams, columns, walls, and foundations. The document may also include details about the materials to be used, such as concrete, steel, or timber, and the methods for connecting and fastening them together.

Task Leader: Structural

Participants: Surveying, Architect, MEP, Structural, Project Manager, Construction

image

10. MEP Design

MEP design refers to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems of a building or other structure. The MEP design document is a detailed plan that outlines the design, installation, and operation of these systems.

Task Leader: MEP

Participants: Surveying, Architect, MEP, Structural, Project Manager, Construction

image

11. Sustainability Plan

A sustainability plan is a comprehensive document that outlines strategies and measures to minimize the environmental impact of a building or project over its lifespan.

Task Leader: Project Management

Participants: Surveying, Architect, MEP, Structural, Project Manager, Construction

image

12. Cost Estimating (Budget)

Cost estimating is a process of predicting the costs associated with a building project or other construction-related activity. The cost estimating document is a comprehensive plan that outlines the anticipated costs of a project, from the initial design and planning phase to the final construction and implementation.

Task Leader: Construction

Participants: Surveying, Architect, MEP, Structural, Project Manager, Construction

image

6. The Test

For the purposes of our project, we have developed a hypothetical client who has requested a garden space that can be used for meetings and reunions. As part of our proposed framework, we have decided to focus on developing a garden model that can meet these specific requirements.

6.1 Surveying

To begin the modeling process, we start with the first link, which is the surveying link. For this particular study, the surveying link only includes the topography of the area and a clearly defined ground level. This serves as the foundational component of the model, as it provides a precise representation of the natural surface of the Earth without any human-made structures or modifications.

image

Following our proposed project governance guidelines, the topographic survey is our first deliverable.

6.2 Architecture

Space Planning

An important deliverable for our project is space planning. As per the client's requirements, we have been tasked with designing a garden space that can be used for organizing parties and events.

Our proposed design features a middle hallway that is surrounded by large pools of water. This creates a visually striking centerpiece for the garden, while also providing a sense of tranquility and calmness. The water feature can serve as a natural focal point for the space, providing a sense of balance and harmony to the overall design. In addition, the proposed model includes a large slab that will serve as an enclosed area for gatherings and events.

image
image

6.3 Structural

Information flow. Information validation

Project goals (general). Cost, Sustan,

Layer from the project charter. Constraints, how the information flows.

7. Linking Models

1. The first Link (Site & Architecture)

As previously stated, our initial step involves linking the site plan and architectural file together. This presents some challenges, such as comprehending the coordinates and positioning when merging both documents onto the model and finding ways to make them function. The following site, is our starting point:

image

As shown in the accompanying image, we have established the site level datum and the first floor as the reference points for our project, as if we had received a survey.

These reference points are crucial in accurately locating and orienting the building model within the physical site. By setting the site level datum, we can ensure that all site-related elements, such as site grading and landscaping, are properly aligned with the site's existing topography.

image

In the following image, we can identify the Project Base Point (PBP) and the Survey Point (SP) as key reference points for our project.

image

In our example, we initially worked on the architectural file drawing using an arbitrary Project Base Point (PBP) as it was easier to work with compared to aligning with the true north of the project. At this stage, the architectural file has not yet been adjusted to align with the true north of the project. The project north is the same as the true north.

image

We need to resolve the issue of having different Project Base Points (PBP) and Survey Points (SP), as these variations can result in discrepancies in the project's coordinates. After linking both documents we have the following:

image
image

After linking the documents, the next step is to align them to the desired location to ensure that all elements within the project are accurately positioned in relation to each other.

The first step in this process is to align the documents vertically. This involves adding a constraint between the first levels of each document to ensure that they are at the same elevation. This helps to ensure that the building model is properly aligned with the site topography and any existing buildings or infrastructure.

image

image

Project base point and survey point

Project Base Point: The Project Base Point (PBP) is the internal origin of the Revit model. It is used to locate and position the model within a project site. The PBP is used for coordinating objects within the building model itself, such as levels, grids, and objects placed in relation to these items.

Survey Point: The Survey Point (SP) is the external origin of the Revit model. It is used to position the model within the real world, based on a surveyed coordinate system. The SP is used for coordinating the building model with other external elements, such as site boundaries, existing buildings, and infrastructure.

image

Publish Coordinates

After successfully linking the project files, we must still obtain the precise coordinates from the site survey document to ensure accuracy in our design. This involves accessing the project location settings under the Manage tab, and navigating to the Coordinates section.

Here, we can select the option to Publish Coordinates, which allows us to transfer the precise site coordinates to the architectural file. This ensures that all elements within the project are accurately positioned and aligned with the actual site location.

By transferring the site coordinates in this way, we can achieve a more accurate and reliable design process, and avoid potential errors that may arise from misaligned elements. This step is essential to ensure the success of the project, and should be completed as soon as possible after linking the files.

The architecture file is now aligned with the site's coordinates and shares the same true north orientation. This ensures that all elements within the building model are accurately positioned in relation to the physical site, and helps to avoid potential discrepancies that may arise from misaligned elements.